Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.
I used my Xanga blog to share what I was thinking about my senior year of college and process a lot of the reading that I was doing about my field of study, contemporary and postmodern Christian theology.
Through my Xanga blog, I got to connect with people online. Some were old friends from high school. Others were strangers from the internet. It was exactly the kind of online social interaction that I loved as a hardcore introvert.
Back when I was writing my Xanga blog, we were blissfully ignorant of the possibility that the companies that we used to facilitate this kind of online social interaction could conspire to use our data and online activity to manipulate us. All most of us saw was the possibility of a connected online community.
I’m Tara McMullin and this is What Works, the show that takes you behind the scenes of how small business owners are building stronger businesses through uncompromising commitment and decisive action.
I fell head over heels for sharing my experiences and opinions while meeting new people and cultivating new relationships online.
I happily admit that I spent loads of time on social media connecting with people-and, in the process, connected my way to a large audience and plenty of authority. But then, things started to get a little rocky.
The more I did it, the more response I got, the more I loved it, the more confident I was with it
I started playing to the audience instead of connecting with people. The updates and emails I shared were less about connecting and more about broadcasting. I stopped writing for one person at a time and started writing for thousands.
These relationships that felt so natural and genuine started to feel strained
Over the last few years, I’ve been working on things. I’ve been focused on prioritizing connection again and sharing more naturally again, instead of trying to work the system and grow my audience.
And I like it. I’m back to meeting new people, having loads of side conversations, and sharing without some grand plan.
Suzanne Chadwick is so good at showing up and connecting with people. In fact, she does it every week day morning-a habit we talk about during this conversation.
Suz is a bold branding, business, and speaker coach who helps women create businesses that fit their lifestyle. Her coaching helps female entrepreneurs show up in bold ways and share their messages online and on stages.
I invited Suz onto the show to talk about how she cultivates the confidence and go-getterness that exudes from the way she speaks up. And I expected to have a conversation about going big-and we did-but my big takeaway from this conversation is in how much she prioritizes the small ways she can connect with people, the little things she does to make people feel seen and included.
So I hope you listen for that and consider how that can apply to the way you speak up and show up, too.
Suz Chadwick: I think people want to be part of something, they want to see somebody’s journey. And so for me, it’s that feedback loop. And so now it’s really just not even something I think about.